disability rights

In delivering his third federal budget speech on May 8, federal Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed his government would guarantee the essential services Australians rely on. Presumably this included the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

However, Morrison only mentioned the NDIS once in his half-hour budget speech, and that was 25 minutes in. He said, “every dollar and every cent committed to delivering the National Disability Insurance Scheme remains in place and always will,” before quickly moving on to "stopping the boats", "terrorism" and border security.

The Conservative party government’s plan to slash unemployment benefits for disabled people making new claims could leave some unable to afford the essentials of life, opponents warned on February 2.

Under government plans, from April new claimants assessed as fit for work will have their benefits cut by £29.05 to £73.10 a week, the same rate as the jobseeker’s allowance. The government claims the changes will help halve the “disability employment gap” and save the Treasury an estimated £1 billion by 2020-21.


Left to right: President Rafael Correa, Pais aliance presidential candidate Lenin Moreno andhis vice presidential running mate Jorge Glas.


Photo: dpac.uk.net.

Campaigners warned on August 27 that reports that 2380 people died within months of being branded “fit for work” under the British government's new welfare laws grossly underestimate the true impact of invasive government assessments into the lives of severely ill and disabled people.

Under the cover of Christmas, 10 peak representative bodies of people with disability were defunded by the federal government.

Hang on, how does that work? Is this government not rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) that seeks to consult widely with people with disabilities and their advocates? Is this not the promise of a new arena of flexibility and choice, a “consumer-led” initiative that puts disability rights and voice front and centre?

People with a disability or a mental illness and their families have not had sufficient access to the services, programs and funding necessary for fully independent inclusion in society.

For a person with a disability to participate in the community, in many circumstances, equipment and organisational assistance is needed.

The Disability Services Commission (DSC) in Western Australia announced last October that it planned to privatise 60% of its accommodation and early childhood intervention services, relinquish its status as a registered training organisation and dismantle its learning and development arm.

At the same time it abolished its Community Development Directorate, dissolved its Post School Options section and made its staff in the Community and Family Living team redundant.

The NSW Public Service Association (PSA) has launched a campaign against the state government's total privatisation of disability services, being imposed as part of the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW.

The campaign is being supported by the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, and is seeking broader community backing.

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